On Sunday, November 29, Msgr. François Schneider, the pastor of Wisembach in the Lorraine Vosges addressed the bloody bombings which had 16 had days earlier shocked Paris in his sermon. He also mentioned that "Satan sang" at the concert in the concert hall Bataclan during the time of the attack of Islamic terrorists, and thus pointed to a link. In the attack 89 concertgoers were killed, hundreds were injured.
Bishop demanded a public apology from the priest
This statement was made immediately by the competent Bishop, Msgr. Jean-Paul Mathieu of Saint Die. This called for the priest to apologize publicly for his statement, and in turn, to do this in a Sunday Mass. A statement, which Msgr. Schneider was to comply with last December 20 at the end of the liturgy. He is to practice "self-criticism" and read a statement, which - according to Riposte Catholique - was drafted by the bishop. In this the priest expressed his regret that there had been outraged media reactions because of his statements to the laity there present.
According to the daily newspaper Vosges Matin the Department Prefect had even threatened the pastor with criminal penalties on the instructions of the French Ministry of the Interior. The Catholics of Wisembach are appalled at the harshness against the pastor by the media, authorities and his superiors. "One wants to put a muzzle on Christianity" said Corrispondenza Romana of their mood.
The pastor also received numerous expressions of solidarity. Parishioners wrote the local newspaper. It says: "He is a good priest, we have always appreciated. What he is going through, in no way changes our attitude towards him. He has been criticized by those who almost never go to Mass. [This is almost always the case that those who are the most ignorant of Catholicism and do not live its precepts feel they have the most right to criticize it and be heard.] "
Lyrics "inspired by Satanism" - parish was ordered "collective transformation"
Pastor Schneider was also defended by Emmanuel Delhourne, the President of the association "Christians in Politics". "What was said by Msgr. Schneider was the truth. The lyrics of the group Eagles of Death Metal is inspired by Satanism," said Delhourne. The American rock band Eagles of Death Metal was playing on stage when the terrorists struck.
The journalist Yves Daoudel expressed the suspicion that behind the whole affair the government desires to suppress unwanted opinions. Also Riposte Catholique wrote: "The Marxist-Leninist dictatorship does not give up, no matter under what name, till the class enemy is destroyed."
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Saint Die which declared: "Our first goal was that Msgr Schneider makes this declaration. Now it is only to wait andd watch the thing to consider further. It is still too early to say anything." He hinted to the fact that the matter had therefore not yet been completed. It became known that a priest who is active in the field of hard rock music, soon to come after Wisembach to provide the Catholic faithful with a "collective transformation" when it comes to hard rock music. "That the Church has such a penchant for self-destruction, is something that not even their most bitter opponents had dared to hope," said Corrispondenza Romana.
At the time when Islamic terrorists struck the Bataclan, the band played Eagles of Death Metal on stage the song "Kiss the Devil". In the chorus of the song, the words repeated in a penetrating way: "Who'll love the devil? Who'll sing his song? I will love the devil and his song! Who'll kiss the tongue of the devil? I'll kiss the devil on his tongue!."
But this part of the story does not seem to fit into the image of the French government, which is why it the Prefect makes his threats, to apply pressure to the diocese and the media rushing against a country parson.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Inotos / Corrispondenza Romana